'CPLP' - a new space for cooperation within ILS: AsNaSA Portugal's proposal of an Action Plan for Teaching and Training in Water Safety Quality in the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community

Title'CPLP' - a new space for cooperation within ILS: AsNaSA Portugal's proposal of an Action Plan for Teaching and Training in Water Safety Quality in the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsMartinho, F
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers03-02

The risks associated with water activities demand that the workforce involved in Water Safety Integrated Plan Services – both volunteers and professionals – obtain a progressive and qualified set of competences and skills. The long experience, gathered from informal and formal training in lifesaving, shows numerous legal and pedagogical revolutions, all over the world, which must be considered in order to consolidate and update the design of an internationally standardized set of qualifications. The political status quo in the nations’ space that today corresponds to the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community – “CPLP” – has undergone profound changes with inevitable echo in Lifesaving and Water Safety Education on these countries.

The start point of lifesaving in Portugal was set in 1959 by the first ISN national action plan. This plan was meant to regulate lifesaving and aquatic activities as these activities were seen at the date and very little changed until the 25th of April, 1974. From that date on, Portugal started a gradual but slow reconsideration of the abovementioned plan, specially after contacting with the vast know-how from countries with longer histories on lifesaving (for e.g. SLSA’s visit to ISN in 1975). This inflow of information and stir-up of the collective consciousness eventually led to the foundation of AsNaSA in 1977, endorsed by ISN, but it was only after the integration of Portugal on the European Community (1986) that changes became bolder and oriented to Qualified Certification with AsNaSA’s model (Lifesaving Animation Course, 1993). The aforesaid increase in information and international experience, collected through exchange programmes supported by the EC/EU and the growing contacts with ILS members, enabled AsNaSA to set up a proposal, with the approval from the Education and Labour Ministries, for the creation of new certified courses. These courses were under ESF support for Level III education - Water Safety Technician Course (CSSMA, since 1997) and Level II education – Professional Water Life Saver Course (since 2002).

The recent Portuguese Law 44/2004, regulating Water Safety and Lifesaving in sea and river beaches, presents a new scenario. Overall, this law corresponds to a positive step by imposing new responsibilities to the state, such as the risk assessment of water-related accidents, but fails on the definition of the human resources and equipment quality requirements we believe to be absolutely essential for the accomplishment of the political goals set by this law on water safety matters. As a response to this situation, AsNaSA’s working team, with the assistance of the Education and Labour Ministries’ personnel designed a new pedagogic programme for the CSSMA Level III course. The previous has been approved and published on the Republic’s Diary, “Portaria” nr. 1311/2006.

The “CPLP”, composed by Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guiné-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and S. Tomé and Príncipe, is a vast space with huge needs. Many students, trainees and trainers from “CPLP” countries have been/are AsNaSA’s members and participated in courses since 1993. This originated a large network that, along with the renowned experience from SOBRASA – Brazil, generates new opportunities for working together and to enlarge ILS global networking. AsNaSA’s goal for “CPLP” member countries is to facilitate the integration on their legislation and practice of lifesaving’s international best standards through the adoption of the Water Safety Integrated and Qualified Systems – the SinQSalvA system. For the completion of this huge task, AsNaSA also relies on the cooperation and support of the ILS specialized teams: Cooperation Commission, ILS Europe; ILS Africa; ILS Americas and ILS Asia Pacific.

AsNaSA’s “CPLP” working group effort is currently underway, and mainly directed for the implementation of an action plan for Education and Training on Water Safety – the EnSIQSalvA plan. With this contribution, AsNaSA is hoping to make the difference…

Learning Outcomes
  1. Recognize the evolution, and changes implemented, on the design of professional certified courses in Portugal.
  2. Identify the eight levels of AsNaSA’s educational model, a model based on EU’s standards.
  3. Recognize the requirements for partnerships on Water Safety projects with AsNaSA “CPLP”, as well as for applying for EU Programs: ALV; InterReg; Espaço Atlântico; PALOP’s; Brasil; Timor Leste.
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